Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517299

Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan

Fellow Laureate

Riddet Institute

Professor Paul J Moughan holds the position of Distinguished Professor, Massey University, New Zealand and is Director of the Riddet Institute.  The Riddet Institute is one of New Zealand’s seven government funded Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE), the science of which underpins the development of innovative foods that promote health and wellness. The Riddet Institute, is a partnership between the University of Otago, Auckland University and Massey University and two New Zealand Crown Research Institutes, Plant and Food Research and AgResearch, and is dedicated to research and postgraduate education in the area of food science and human nutrition.  He was formerly foundation head of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University, Director of the University’s Mongastric Research Centre and Foundation Scientific Director of the Fonterra-funded Milk and Health Research Centre. 

Professor Moughan was appointed to the foundation chair in monogastric biology at Massey University in 1993 and his research has encompassed the fields of human and animal nutrition, food chemistry, functional foods, mammalian growth biology and digestive physiology.  He has published in excess of 350 scientific works.  In 1995 he was awarded Doctor of Science and in 1997 was awarded a Personal Chair at Massey University and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England.  In 2011 he was appointed Chair of the FAO Expert Consultation to review recommendations on the characterisation of dietary protein quality in humans.  He has received numerous prestigious international awards for his work, including the Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2012.  Professor Moughan sits on a number of editorial boards for scientific journals and is an adviser to the international food industry. He is a non-executive Director of the Gardiner Foundation, Melbourne, Australia.

Paul James Moughan, FRSNZ, Distinguished Professor, Massey University, is a NZ scientist with an exceptional international profile.  He is a prolific publisher of world-class science in the fields of animal and human nutrition and food chemistry.  His work is widely acknowledged as being at the forefront of thinking and his accomplishments have been recognised by numerous honours and awards. 

Professor Moughan has been an advisor to many high-level government, science and industry bodies, both in New Zealand and overseas.  He is an outstanding communicator of science at all levels providing leadership of the highest order within the international agrifood sector. 

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Contact details

  • Ph: DDI +64 6 3505184 or Internal extn 81616
    Location: Riddet Institute
    Campus: Turitea

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Digestive physiology; Food chemistry; Protein quality; Amino acid analysis and availability; Food evaluation science.


Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Biological Sciences (060000):
Medical And Health Sciences (110000): Nutrition and Dietetics (111100)


Human nutrition, animal nutrition, monogastric, dietary protein, amino acids, feed evaluation – agriculture, food science, functional foods, nutraceuticals, food chemistry, protein metabolism, functional foods.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 18 29
Team Member 1 8

Completed Projects

Project Title: NSC - MultiProMo (High-Value Nutrition National Science Challenge)

As we age we lose muscle mass and function, and many older people find that muscle weakness limits their ability to stay physically mobile and remain independent. Protein and the amino acid leucine are the major nutrients required for muscle maintenance, and in this project we will research how to combine proteins together to improve digestibility and protein uptake for older people. Using this research, we will develop scientifically validated high-protein foods that help to support muscle maintenance in seniors while also meeting their flavour and texture preferences. Many countries, especially in New Zealand's major export markets in East Asia, are faced with ageing populations and skyrocketing healthcare costs. The high-protein muscle maintenance foods that we develop will be targeted towards seniors in China, and will contribute to improving the wellbeing of older Chinese as well as providing substantial export revenue to a New Zealand food manufacturer.
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Date Range: 2016 - 2019

Funding Bodies: University of Auckland; Goodman Fielder New Zealand Ltd

Project Team:

Project Title: Future foods - a new capability for New Zealand's leading industry

Date Range: 2007 - 2012

Funding Bodies: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology; Heinz Wattie's Ltd; Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited; Meat Biologics Research Ltd; Independent Fisheries Ltd

Project Team:

Project Title: Psycho-Oncology

A longitudinal study on work life balance and health.
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Date Range: 2006 - 2010

Funding Body: Meat Biologics Research Ltd

Project Team:

Project Title: Omega 3 Emulsion

A Study of 400 Kaumatua/Older Maori confirmed that kuia and koraua are significant users of health services and medication. This research project will detail and examine the medication taking practice behaviours, characteristics, influences, indicators, experiences and understandings of up to 40 kaumatua, their management and regulation of medication as well as exploring the relationship with other determinants such as personal factors, health provider/service awareness and illness perception, as well as quality of life. The development of a Maori specific, culturally appropriate medication management audit tool will be undertaken and applied based on previous validated measurement and audit tools from current 'gold-standard' international studies. Potential health outcomes are more appropriate, specific and sensitive health services to improve safe and effective use of medicines based on actual patients' needs and beliefs.
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Date Range: 2006 - ongoing

Funding Bodies: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology; Use SNMGMT -- Speirs Nutritionals Ltd

Project Team:

Teaching and Supervision

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Anika Hoogeveen - Doctor of Philosophy
    Fermentation of dietary fibre in the small intestine

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Prasannalakshmi Acharya - Doctor of Philosophy
    Gastrointestinal Endogenous Proteins as a Source of Bioactive Peptides
  • 2013 - Sylvia Chung Chun Lam - Doctor of Philosophy
    Whey Protein and Satiety in Humans
  • 2012 - Warren Miner-Williams - Doctor of Philosophy
    The protein composition of endogenous losses in the human gut
  • 2011 - Prabhu Balan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of orally administered ovine serum immunoglobulin in the normal and Salmonella enteritidis-challenged growing rats
  • 2011 - Leah Coles - Doctor of Philosophy
    Predication of cellular ATP generation from foods in the adult human: Application to developing specialist weight-loss foods
  • 2008 - Amelie Deglaire - Doctor of Philosophy
    Gut endogenous protein flows and postprandial metabolic utilization of dietary amino acids in simple-stomached animals and humans
  • 1995 - Alison Darragh - Doctor of Philosophy
    The amino acid composition of human milk- towards determining the amino acid requirements of the human infant
  • 1993 - Armstrong Donkoh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Amino Acid Digestibility in Meat and Bone Meal for the Growing Pig: The Development of a Digestibility Assay based on the Laboratory Rat
  • 1992 - Christine Butts - Doctor of Philosophy
    Endogenous Ileal Amino Acid Excretion in Monogastric Animals

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2021 - Debashree Roy - Doctor of Philosophy
    Structural changes in milk of different species during digestion
  • 2017 - Eva Maier - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effect of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii on intestinal barrier function and immune homeostasis
  • 2017 - Natascha Stroebinger - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Effect of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutritionally Relevant Divalent Cations on Fatty Acid-Soap Formation
  • 2016 - Nadja Berger - Doctor of Philosophy
    Identification of biomarkers of colitis to monitor effects of dietary omega -3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the interleukin-10 gene-deficient mouse model of inflammatory bowel diseases
  • 2015 - Alicia Barnett - Doctor of Philosophy
    The interaction of probiotic bacteria and an oligosaccharide-enriched fraction from goat whey on in vitro intestinal barrier function and mucin production
  • 2015 - Caroline Thum - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of dietary caprine millk oligosaccharides enriched fraction on maternal large intestine and the consequences for the development of the offspring
  • 2015 - Ranjita Sengupta - Doctor of Philosophy
    A comparative study of two Lactobacillus fermentum strains that show opposing effects on intestinal barrier integrity
  • 2013 - Amy Van Wey Lovatt - Doctor of Philosophy
    Mathematical models of biofilm growth and food particle degradation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • 2013 - Dulantha Ulluwishewa - Doctor of Philosophy
    Interactions between commensal obligate anaerobes and human intestinal cells
  • 2009 - Jiahong Su - Doctor of Philosophy
    Formation and stability of food-grade water-in-oil-in-water emulsions
  • 2008 - Raewyn Poulsen - Doctor of Philosophy
    Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and their possible interaction with phytoestrogens: Impact on bone and bone cell function in vivo and in vitro
  • 2007 - Janina Kuhn - Doctor of Philosophy
    Studies on Interactions of Milk Proteins with Flavour Compounds.
  • 1997 - Wouter Hendriks - Doctor of Philosophy
    Protein Metabolism in the Adult Domestic Cat (#Felis# #catus#).
  • 1996 - Feng Yu - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Effect of Condensed Tannin upon the Protein Nutritional Value of Solvent Extracted Cottonseed Meal for Ruminant and Monogastric Animals.

Media and Links


  • 23 Feb 2015 - Radio
    Fewer fish in future warns NZ Scientist
    Radio NZ Pacific News
  • 16 Feb 2015 - Radio
    New Zealand scientist tackles world hunger
    Radio NZ
  • 16 Feb 2015 - Radio
    Global diets face future challenges
    Radio NZ International (broadcast to the Pacific Islands)
  • 16 Feb 2015 - Radio
    Kiwi Scientist Addresses Food Crisis
    Newstalk ZB
  • 16 Feb 2013 - Magazine
    Something to chew over
    New Zealand Listener
  • 15 Feb 2015 - Newspaper
    Top New Zealand scientist to address world’s food
    The New Zealand Herald
  • 14 Jun 2015 - Newspaper
    Manawatu-based research centre tipped for more job
    Evening Standard
  • 14 Jul 2013 - Newspaper
    We must come together to lead the world in science
    Sunday Star Times
  • 14 Feb 2015 - Newspaper
    City scientist called on to think tank fighting hu
    Manawatu Evening Standard
  • 14 Apr 2012 - Newspaper
    Research Fodder
    Saturday Express, Blenheim
  • 11 Mar 2013 - Newspaper
    Protein breakthrough good for NZ
    NZ Farmers Weekly
  • 05 Dec 2015 - Newspaper
    Universities go back to the future
    The National Business Review
  • 04 Apr 2013 - Newspaper
    Science on the Menu
    Manawatu Standard, Palmerston North
  • 01 Mar 2013 - Magazine
    Brain Food
    Unlimited, New Zealand
  • 01 Jun 2013 - Magazine
    New Vision for Dairy
    Media clip from DIAA's Australian Dairy Food magazine, based on an interview in conjunction with the Keynote address, Reception in Melbourne Australia in March 2013
  • 01 Jul 2013 - Online
    Possible substrates for exogenous enzymes
    Roundtable Interview in Feedinfo
  • 01 Feb 2013 - Television, Radio
    The Global Competitive Advantage of Australia's Da
    Various Media Interviews (TV and Radio) on "The Global Competitive Advantage of Australia's Dairy Industry", Melbourne Australia